The 16-pronged action plan mooted in the Union Budget 2020-21 to spur growth in agriculture and allied fields and bolster farmers’ income is a pack of small, but fairly significant, measures aimed at meeting the needs of stakeholders in this sector. But the way these proposals are sought to be implemented — through state governments or with public-private participation (PPP) — makes their outcome dicey. The states’ track record in carrying out Central sector schemes is quite uninspiring. The PPP is also a, by and large, failed model of development. The funding arrangement for the envisaged activities, too, seems problematic. The allocated funds are not only inadequate but also vaguely targeted. These are clubbed under the two broad heads of agriculture and allied activities (Rs 1.60 trillion); and rural development (Rs 1.23 trillion).
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